Series: Managing Forest Ecosystems Volume: 21
318 pages, 48 black & white illustrations, 20 colour illustrations
There is a rising concern among natural resource scientists and managers about decline of the many plant and animal species associated with early successional habitats, especially within the Central Hardwood Region. Open sites with grass, herbaceous, shrub, or incomplete young forest cover are disappearing as abandoned farmland and pastures return to forest and recently harvested or disturbed forests re-grow. There are many questions about "why, what, where, and how" to manage for early successional habitats. Tradeoffs among ecological services such as carbon storage, hydrologic processes, forest products, and biotic diversity between young, early successional habitats and mature forest are not fully understood. Personal values and attitudes regarding forest management for conservation purposes versus "letting nature take its course," complicate finding common ground on whether and how to create or sustain early successional habitats. In Sustaining Young Forest Communities, expert scientists and experienced land managers synthesize knowledge and original scientific work to address critical questions sparked by the decline of early successional habitats. We focus on habitats created by natural disturbances or management of upland hardwood forests and discuss how they can be sustainably created and managed in a landscape context. Together, chapters written by ecologists, conservationists, and land managers provide a balanced view of how past, current, and future scenarios affect the extent and quality of early successional habitat and implications for ecosystem services and disturbance-dependant plants and animals in upland hardwood forest of the Central Hardwood Region.
1. Introduction: What are Early Successional Habitats, Why are they Important, and How Can they be Sustained?
2. Subregional Variation in Upland Hardwood Forest Composition and Disturbance Regimes of the Central Hardwood Region
3. Natural Disturbances and Early Successional Habitats
4. Fire in Eastern Hardwood Forests through 14,000 Years
5. Structure and Species Composition of Upland Hardwood Communities After Regeneration Treatments Across Environmental Gradients
6. Spatial and Temporal Patterns in the Amount of Young Forests and Implications for Biodiversity
7. Herbaceous Response to Type and Severity of Disturbance
8. The Role of Young, Recently Disturbed Upland Hardwood Forest as High Quality Food Patches
9. Population Trends for Eastern Scrub-Shrub Birds Related to Availability of Small-diameter Upland Hardwood Forests
10. Bats and Gaps: The Role of Early Successional Patches in the Roosting and Foraging Ecology of Bats
11. Reptile and Amphibian Response to Hardwood Forest Management and Early Successional Habitats
12. Managing Early Successional Habitats for Wildlife in Novel Places
13. Conservation of Early Successional Habitats in the Applachian Mountains: A Manager's Perspective
14. Early Successional Forest Habitats and Water Resources
15. Carbon Dynamics Following the Creation of Early Successional Habitats in Forests of the Central Hardwood Region
16. Forecasting Forest Type and Age Classes in the Appalachian-Cumberland Subregion of the Central Hardwood Region
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